Pros & Cons Of Hunting With Muzzleloaders?

Discussion in 'Muzzleloaders & Black Powder' started by SAFalconer, Oct 1, 2014.

  1. SAFalconer

    SAFalconer AH Senior Member

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    What are the pros and cons of muzzleloaders and hunting with them? Thanks in advance.
     

  2. BRICKBURN

    BRICKBURN AH ENABLER SUPER MODERATOR CONTRIBUTOR LIFETIME TITANIUM BENEFACTOR AH Ambassador

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    In comparison to modern rifles: (generally speaking)

    They are dirty, require cleaning
    less accurate
    Shorter range effectiveness.
    Second shots are delayed.

    They are fun and create a challenge to close the distance and make you stalk for ONE good shot.
     
    Velo Dog and bluey like this.

  3. KMG Hunting Safaris

    KMG Hunting Safaris AH ENABLER SPONSOR Since 2013 AH Legend

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    Well, it depends if you are asking in a sense to use it in South Africa. You can't travel with your powder either, so will have to redevelop a load with a local powder while you are here. Your outfitter will require to gain a permit in order to purchase some black powder for you, then sadly the stuff that you will be getting will be substantially less potent.
     

  4. SAFalconer

    SAFalconer AH Senior Member

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    I already live in SA.
     

  5. KMG Hunting Safaris

    KMG Hunting Safaris AH ENABLER SPONSOR Since 2013 AH Legend

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  6. CAustin

    CAustin AH ENABLER BRONZE SUPPORTER AH Ambassador

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    SAFalconer I am In fact going to the rifle range today to site mine in for opening of deer season in the states. I have a Thompson Center Omega in 50 cal. As Brickburn said they are dirty and require a lot of work to keep clean between shots. A second shot isn't going to happen unless the animal is down from the first shot. You have to be a good shot.....period to use one. So it takes practice to get good.....something a lot of people don't do. I manage to get a deer each year during muzzleloading season, but I'm not sure I would want to use it on Safari. Jim Shockey is a well know American hunter who does and he gets what he shoots at. He is very good most of the time with shot placement. I have seen video of him taking down elephant with his trusty smoke stick but I wouldn't want to risk loosing a trophy using one. Now given you live in SA you would likely have more opportunity to hunt than I would. So if you are able to use this type firearm well go for it!
     

  7. Red Leg

    Red Leg AH ENABLER LIFETIME BRONZE BENEFACTOR AH Legend

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    There are muzzel loaders and there are muzzel loaders. A modern, in-line weapon of at least .50 .cal, particularly with one of the conicals, would be very effective on most plains game. If eyes and open sights are an issue, in-lines can be easily scoped. So set up, such a black powder rig would give you lethal accuracy to at least 150 meters. A traditional black powder weapon, firing a round ball over open sights is, I think, a 100 meter weapon with a bit less margin of error and significantly less penetration than a solid conical. I would stay away from most of the sabot projectiles - many are little more than glorified pistol bullets with lousy penetration characteristics.
     

  8. SAFalconer

    SAFalconer AH Senior Member

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    Thanks guy for the input.
     

  9. enysse

    enysse AH ENABLER AH Ambassador

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    I own 5 different muzzleloaders, I sure didn't have to pay much to get them, found them on clearance racks for minimal costs compared to a rifle. They are fun to play with, but do take time. If you shoot sabots in them it doesn't take much time to get them sighted in, my TC omega is good out to 250 yds, where my two traditional muzzleloaders would be 100 yd guns or less.
     

  10. Velo Dog

    Velo Dog AH ENABLER GOLD SUPPORTER SILVER SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    SAFalconer,

    Sometimes there is satisfaction in doing things the old fashioned way.
    You being able to hunt with a bird of prey are the type who likely can appreciate that more than many hunters can, perhaps.

    Riding a bicycle instead of driving a car, fishing with a cane pole instead of spinning tackle and of course hunting with traditional archery tackle and/or a traditional style muzzle loader (and the ultimate is Falconry of course!) are all good examples.

    For me personally, I do not have any flintlocks, mainly because the weather can often be damp where I live so, my muzzle loaders are all cap ignition but, fairly close copies of the mid-1800's hunting rifles and shotguns.
    People who prefer all these in-line ignition / scoped / plastic stocked disc-black-powder / sabot projectile / shotgun primer types, can generally out shoot me at the longer distances but, out to about 75 yards or a bit more, (as long as they do not use their scopes - lol) my "old timey" style muzzle loading rifles are quite difficult to beat.

    Sadly, I have not hunted more than small game with them but I have done an awful lot of that and really enjoy getting out in the woods with a muzzle loader now and then.
    It is soothing to my soul you might say.

    Regards,
    Velo Dog.
     
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2014

  11. SAFalconer

    SAFalconer AH Senior Member

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    Thanks Velo Dog. I understand what you mean.
     

  12. Paolo Mauritania

    Paolo Mauritania AH Senior Member

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    If you hunt "perky games" make sure you learn to reload fast and get a good sighting at max 125 yards, shoot at no more than 60 yards if using RB. having said this, I own a reproduction of a John Schreit 1761 long rifle, .50 cal flint- lock, 42" barrel with round bottom grooves and 1:56" rifling twist (a RB shooter) and has never let me down sighted at 125 yards with 80 grains of FFg BP. Anything up to mule deer is a good to go with a nice tight RB-patch combination (.495 RB), if you get closer than 60 yards, you could take a moose with a shot well placed (on some form of rest).
    My two cents.
     

  13. Sivie

    Sivie AH Member

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    good info guys thanks. i am planing on taking my hawken 54 and a 50 cal in-line next year to hunt plains game .
     

  14. JimP

    JimP AH Elite

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    I would suggest that you also bring a center fire rifle for you hunts or plan on renting one from your outfitter/PH during the hunt.
    On my safari last year I was only able to take one animal that was within a muzzle loaders range, all the others were 300 yards +. We also had a bow hunter in our group and he ended up renting a rifle from his PH to shoot the majority of his animals but in the end he did manage 2 animals with his bow.

    It will also depend on how your outfitter runs his camps. If it is spot and stalk only or if he had blinds set up over water holes or feeders. Mine were spot and stalk only with no blind hunting.
     

  15. Sivie

    Sivie AH Member

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    where were you hunting jim
     

  16. dobber

    dobber AH Enthusiast

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    Just remember the Red Coats, 3 shots a minute is standard lol
    other than a smart arse comment i don't think i can add anything to the thread others already haven't
     

  17. JimP

    JimP AH Elite

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    I was on the Eastern Cape out of Port Elizabeth hunting with Zungah Safari's.
     

  18. Sivie

    Sivie AH Member

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    oh ok we are headed to the same area i think . its called two waters safaris.not sure I will take the black powder after all , it seems like a pain after reading all the posts.
     

  19. JimP

    JimP AH Elite

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    You'll be in the same general area that I was in but further to the North. If you pull the area up on Google Earth we were just to the south west of Kirkwood.

    When I said that the majority of my shots were 300 yards + I meant that was just the situations that I got into. Just no way to get closer, there was just no more cover.
     

  20. firehuntfish

    firehuntfish AH Fanatic

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    Absolutely... It's really apples and oranges to compare a traditional cap & ball muzzleloader to one of the many modern muzzleloader rigs available today. Lots of people shoot them for lots of different reasons and it's all fun! For me, the biggest reason to embrace the muzzleloader platform and, I don't think has been mentioned yet, and that it is that it extends your hunting season in many states. Many states offer early and late muzzleloader season that allow you to take advantage of a couple of more weeks of hunting at some really opportune times of the season. In Illinois and Iowa, if I am not mistaken, there is no rifle season. It's bow, muzzleloader, shotgun, or nothing. Still, other states consider a muzzleloader to be a primitive weapon and allow them in public assess to management areas where rifles are forbidden.

    I shoot a T/C Encore .50 with three 777 pellets and a 250 grain sabot round. It's scary accurate out to 200 yards and beyond even with me behind the trigger. It's a lot of fun knowing it's basically "one and done" not to mention the uncertainty of your shot from the cloud of smoke that whites out your view for the first few seconds. I haven't yet, but I would think it would be a lot of fun to take one to Africa for plainsgame. As with any weapon, know your level of skill and your limitations.
     

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